This year (specifically considering double glazing grants 2023), we’re looking at a huge and ever increasing focus on energy efficiency as a whole as we begin to ramp up efforts towards the Governments 2050 net zero targets and against the backdrop of an unprecedented fuel crisis.
So, what does this mean in relation to double glazing grants 2023 in the UK? Will there be any free Government cash available for new windows and doors and with the increasing interest rates how will the industry react?
Back in April 2022, the UK Government published its British Energy Security Strategy. The strategy proposes to accelerate the UK towards a low-carbon, energy independent future.
The reason behind this publication:
“The strategy was published in response to concern over the security, affordability, and sustainability of the UK’s energy supply. This concern is caused by both global and local issues, including spikes in global wholesale gas prices, the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the recent failure of several UK energy suppliers, and the rise in the energy price cap as set by the electricity and gas regulator Ofgem. “
Whilst this strategy is predominately focused around power generation it does contain a proposal for over 40% reduction in gas consumption by 2030 and the housing market has a massive role to play in this area.
So, what are the Government doing to improve energy efficiency? We need look no further than the Heat and Buildings Strategy which was published back in October 2021 which outlines the strategy and the £3.9 billion in support packages to help achieve it. Certainly, some of these initiatives have saved households significant sums on fuel bills with the lowest income families benefiting the most (and rightly son).
The Government estimate that combined, this grant funding will improve up to 500,000 homes, saving households hundreds of pounds per year on their energy bills and reduce our reliance on gas (hence supporting the policy of the British Energy Security Strategy).
In fact when they talk about reducing reliance on gas so confident are they that it is intended that the sale of new and replacement gas boilers will be phased out completely by 2035!
As a follow on to this the former Energy Minister Chris Skidmore was tasked with reviewing and reporting on Government net zero policy. This resulted in the publication of the Mission Zero – Independent Net Zero Review, in January 2023 which outlines the opportunities offered by net zero. Perhaps as a result of this review a major restructure of Government was announced. Up until now the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has been responsible for all forms of Government grants to support and encourage the installation of energy efficiency measures. BEIS no longer exists – now a there is a new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero which has been established to focus solely on all things energy related (the “E” from BEIS)!
Then, in February 2023 was the announcement that a new Energy Efficiency Taskforce had been established to support a step change in the reduction of energy demand through accelerated delivery of energy efficiency across the economy. The taskforce is to advise and work with ministers on delivery of the government’s ambition to reduce total UK energy demand by 15% from 2021 levels by 2030, across domestic and commercial buildings and industrial processes. Interestingly this is being co-chaired by experience minister Lord Callanan alongside Alison Rose DBE, CEO NatWest who will perhaps bring an expert focus on the financing and funding of such measures. The makeup of the full taskforce can be viewed here >
Move into March and DESNZ published an important new policy paper entitled Powering Up Britain which sets out the new department’s approach to energy security and net zero. Download a copy of Powering Up Britain >
You’ll begin to see the scale of the focus on energy efficiency and how it’s going to be embedded in the very fabric of our buildings for years to come. Surely that can only be good for the double glazing industry>
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required whenever a residential property is built, sold or rented. It provides information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs along with recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money.
It gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.
If you live in Scotland the EPC must be displayed in the property.
The Government uses this officially recognised energy efficiency rating to measure improvements. The target is for all residential properties to achieve a minimum EPC rating of C by 2035. There is also a target for mortgage lenders to have an average band C across their lending book by 2030.
There’s still a long way to go but we’re moving in the right direction. Official numbers suggest that we’ve improved from 13% of properties reaching an EPC of C (or better) in 2010 to where it is now at over 46%.
New builds are not the problem (84% are built to the top EPC bands of A or B). The real challenge is in upgrading the existing housing stock – much of which is old and dated.
So, what’s this all got to do with double glazing grants 2023?
Recent reports and developments prove there to by a very clear and obvious focus on making our homes more energy efficient – particulary against the current backdrop of an energy crisis resulting in the high cost of home energy bills and extreme level of fuel poverty. The focus however is on energy efficiency improvements as a whole rather than just single measures and the majority of the grant support is aimed at the lowest income and vulnerable households.
When it comes to home improvements the Government have adopted a whole house, fabric first approach whereby grants are going to support the installation of the whole package of measures that the building requires to bring it up to target. Yes, this CAN include double glazing grants depending on what you’re upgrading from but you need to be looking at a whole package of measures that will make your home as energy efficient as possible.
Understandably grants are being targeted towards the areas of greatest impact … the “low hanging fruits” if you want to call it that. Old, dated and inefficient Local Authority / Housing Association housing stock in deprived areas that can be upgraded in large volumes and positively impact on the lives of those who need it most. This is a similar focus to last year and will continue through 2023.
That means that the higher earning “able to pay” household aren’t able to benefit from grant funding to any great extent (depending on property, location and situation though). That said the Government recognise that this market does need to be addressed if they are to achieve targets.
For this reason, in 2023 we’re likely to see grant support for this able to pay market starting to emerge. The first initiative is on its way in the form of a grant funding initiative called ECO Plus.
ECO Plus is currently undergoing a re-brand and will be known (alongside ECO 4) is the Great British Insulation Scheme. Initially it will be a three-year scheme which will provide up to £15,000 of grant funding towards certain energy efficiency home improvements for middle-income households. It was originally scheduled to kick-off in April 2023 but, as with so many of these initiatives, timescales have slipped. We’re now not likely to see the results of the recent consultation until at least April so we’re not likely to see any ECO Plus / GBIS action before the summer.
But hold on … before you start getting excited about the prospect of widely accessible double glazing grants in 2023, we’re sorry to tell you that initially this money will mainly go to fund a limited number of low cost measure namely:
Yes it CAN provide financial support for a wider range of measures but the main beneficiaries ar egoing to be the three listed.
The exact format of the scheme is yet to be finalised but it is intended that it will be administered by the energy companies in the same way that ECO4 is but that the funding itself will come from elsewhere.
To summarise what we feel the availablility of double glazing grants will be. You’re going to need to adopt a whole house energy efficiency improvement focus if you’re going to get any form of double glazing grant in 2023. Look at all the ways you can improve the efficiency of your property, put together the package of measures that will impact the most and seek out the grant support for the suite of measures as a whole.
Whilst you’re not going to get a grant specifically for double glazing as a stand alone measure right now there will be grants available for a whole house approach – substantial if you’re in the low earning / vulnerable bracket or live in “off gas” areas and up to £15,000 for all households following the launch of ECO Plus in summer 2023 (assuming it keeps to time scales).
So, start thinking differently. If your old indows are inefficient and drafty then decide to thermally improve your whole property and you should be able to get financial support.
With the majority of homes now already benefiting from double glazing the industry is largely being ignored from an energy efficiency funding perspective. But, as with everything, double glazing has evolved and improved considerably of the years and new double glazing can be massively more energy efficient than some of the old, dated units in so many of our homes.
And that’s the message that the industry is trying hard to get across. If the benefits of upgrading existing double glazing can be proven it could open up a whole new world of funding opoptunities … and with a new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero along with a new advisory TaskForce who have a clear financial focus there is no better time to lobby hard and get the message across. And that’s what the industry is doing!
The recent official government response from the initial consultation on the ECO / GBIS highlighted that:
The pressures on!
There’s also a consultation out (deadline 31st May 2023) which presents an opportunity to ask Government to include window and doors on the Energy Savings Materials list which would attract Zero VAT.
This is a great occasion for British Glass, Flat Glass Manufacturers Association and the GGF to further collaborate and to submit responses to the consultation – it may not be a bouble glazing grant but it will certainly cut the cost.
Let’s look at what double glazing grants are likely to be available in 2023 as part of a package of improvement measures?
The fourth phase of the long standing Energy Company Obligation (known as ECO4) now falls under the name of the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS). It is a GB wide grant scheme that aims to support households in receipt of certain benefits. It’s administered through the largest energy companies who are obliged to install energy efficiency measures in the homes of those who need them most but who maybe can’t afford it. All suppliers then pass on the costs to their customers through a levy on energy bills, particularly electricity bills. The target is to reduce carbon emissions and help the UK meet carbon reduction targets.
ECO first started back in 2013. So far it’s estimated that 3.1 million measures have been installed in over 2.3 million homes. The good news is that it’s been extended further. From 2022 to 2026 – and likely beyond that too. This forth review is called ECO4 and finally launched in mid 2022.
Up to now the ECO scheme (GBIS) has prioritised the “low hanging fruits” by picking off the low cost measures like cavity and loft insulation. But now that so many of these measures are already installed it’s the harder to treat properties which are now forming the majority.
As, we know, ECO / GBIS grant funding is aimed at low income families and households who are in receipt of certain benefits as follows:
Energy efficiency measures included within the ECO / GBIS scheme are very diverse and wide ranging. They all however have to fit into one of the three categories mentioned earlier: Insulation, Heating and Microgeneration.
Window glazing along with high performance external doors are included within the insulation category. But it should be noted that any improvements made under ECO / GBIS need to be tackled on a “whole house” approach under the adopted PAS2035 framework. Nevertheless, if you fit the criteria then it’s a grant you don’t want to miss out on. AND it can include double glazing.
ECO Plus is set to launch in summer 2023 (delayed from April). We are awaiting the findings of the December consultation and will be providing more information on this new scheme in due course. It will be known as the Great British Insulation Scheme moving forwards but, in simple terms, this part of the GBIS targets the provision of financial support towrads the mid-earning “able to pay” households who will be able to claim a grant up to a maximum of £15,000 in order to fund certain energy efficiency measures. Unfortunately, from the point of double glazing grants, these are not directly included as it’s mainly expected to cover the following low cost measures:
However, other measures are included and, as we said above, if you look at a whole house approach £15k off the whole cost could work out extremely atractive – replacing windows as a whole package alongside insulation and heating controls could work out cheaper and would certainly save substantially on energy costs. There is also pressure (officially recognised by the Government) to have double glazing included within the scheme … watch this space.
Check out the specific availability for double glazing grants for windows and doors from government 2023 on a UK and country by country basis or visit the following websites:
Whilst the schemes detailed above cover the entire area of the UK there are certain initiatives which are unique or amended to individual countries within the UK as a whole.
Below are details of grant schemes available in the various regions of the United Kingdom.
As we’ve said specific focus in England in 2023 remains geared towards high volume upgrades of social housing stock – both local authority and housing association owned. There are a number of programs which continue from last year:
In the Governments own words: “The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme supports the aim of reducing emissions from public sector buildings by 75% by 2037, compared to a 2017 baseline, as set out in the 2021 Net Zero and Heat and Buildings strategies.
Phase 3 of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme will provide £1.425 billion of grant funding over the financial years 2022-2023 to 2024-2025, through multiple application windows. The first Phase 3 application window, Phase 3a, closed to new applications in November 2021. The second Phase 3 application window, Phase 3b, will provide up to £635 million of funding over the financial years 2023-2024 to 2024-2025. The application window for Phase 3b closed on 31 October 2022.” More Info >
Both double glazing and secondary glazing are included within the category Insulation – building fabric of included measures but the grant funding is only available to public sector owned housing. But we stress, these double glazing grants are available to social landlords only.
The LAD Scheme provides £500m of targeted energy efficiency upgrades to those living on low income and in low energy efficiency homes. Aiming to improve energy efficiency in homes with a low EPC of E,F or G the Local Authorities control the scheme thus enabling them to support low-income, fuel-poor households in their local area.
It’s aim is to deliver progress towards the UK’s commitment to net zero by 2050.
Whilst it can cover double glazing grants the LAD scheme will only run until March 2023 (unless anything changes). More Info >
The Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) was something that was pledged in the Conservative Party 2019 manifesto. It is funded by the government’s Local Authority Delivery scheme as detailed above. The purpose is to provide funding for local authorities to improve the energy performance and heating systems of off gas grid homes in England.
The grant covers loft, cavity and room-in-roof insulation along with draft proofing but does not cover double glazing grants. More Info >
When it comes to double glazing grants in England 2022, apart from the specific options listed above ECO funding is also available.
As a starting point we suggest the following links:
The Scottish Government has a number of initiatives Read More >
Warmer Homes Scotland is the main umbrella scheme which is funded by the Scottish Government. It’s designed to help vulnerable people and is managed through Warmworks Scotland: https://www.warmworks.co.uk/
The scheme helps people in need to make their homes warmer and cost less to heat. It does this by changing your home to use energy more efficiently.
It lists 5 categories of measures designed to make homes warmer and more efficient to heat:
Double glazing grants Scotland may be available under the scheme, depending on a survey which will be first carried out, but you’ll need to be a home owner or a private tenant and an eligibility criteria needs to be met.
Within the overall Warmer Homes Scheme sits HEEPS – the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland. This is a true grant scheme as it can mean free installation of a range of energy saving measures for vulnerable homeowners and private sector tenants, who struggle to heat their home … as long as they meet the qualifying criteria.
HEEPS is an area-based scheme. It’s designed and delivered by various councils throughout Scotland who work alongside local delivery partners. The target is the fuel-poor areas within a council jurisdiction and to provide energy efficiency measures to a large number of Scottish homes while delivering emission savings and a reduction in fuel poverty.
Not exactly a grant but an interest free loan of up to £38,500 per home is available to owner occupiers. Of this total up to £15,000 is available for a range of energy efficiency improvements which includes double glazing or, as it’s officially listed; Improved Doors and Windows.
Private Rented Sector Landlord Loan
Similar to the above but specifically designed for landlords within the private rental sector
ECO funding is also available in Scotland but, when it comes to double glazing grants Scotland 2023, the best place to start is the Home Energy Scotland website:
The site includes a really nifty grant and funding finder:
Simply enter your postcode and you’ll get a list of exactly what grants are available in your area.
The Welsh Government operates the Warm Homes scheme which is the “umbrella” for two specific schemes called NEST and Arbed both designed (in different ways) to provide grant funding for energy efficiency improvements to low income households and those living in deprived communities throughout Wales.
The Nest scheme is managed on behalf of the Welsh Government by British Gas and their approved subcontractors. It can provide a package of energy efficiency measures in order to reduce home energy bills providing you meet the eligibility criteria:
You must own your own home or rent from a private landlord
Your home is expensive to heat and energy inefficient
You or someone you live with are in receipt of a qualifying means tested benefit from the following:
Alternatively you or someone you live with has a chronic respiratory, circulatory or mental health condition as follows:
Meet the criteria and your home will be assessed for a package of energy efficiency improvements at zero cost to you. This can include a double glazing grant which covers the full cost … should the survey specify it.
The Arbed scheme funds energy efficiency improvements in specific and targeted areas – mainly economically deprived communities throughout the whole of Wales.
Should you live in one of these areas your local authority will contact you – you need not apply for this grant scheme. It includes multiple measures … including double glazing window upgrades.
For more information visit: https://gov.wales/home-energy-fuel-poverty
By no means are we suggesting this is a double glazing grant in Wales but for those who find themselves needing essential repairs but are unable to pay you can apply for this interest free loan through your local authority subject to meeting the criteria which varies by local authority. You can apply for up to £35,000 but, although it’s interest free, there is an administration fee of 15%.
To find out more and apply, contact your local authority or visit: https://gov.wales/apply-home-improvement-loan
Don’t forget, when it comes to double glazing grants in Wales 2022, apart from the specific options detailed above ECO funding is also available.
As a starting point we suggest the following websites:
The Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Program (NISEP) is the energy efficiency initiative which aims to address the effects of fuel poverty and energy inefficiency in Northern Ireland.
There are various individual schemes within the overall program but, at the time of writing, none appear to offer any form of double glazing grants or financial support towards the cost of windows upgrade: https://www.uregni.gov.uk/
This scheme is designed specifically for low-income households and operates a targeted approach whereby it prioritises areas where levels of fuel poverty are at the highest.
To qualify you must:
In addition, your property must not be a holiday home, bed and breakfast or operate as any form of commercial establishment.
The scheme is designed to provide grant assistance to upgrade and improve most forms of energy efficiency measures in your home. It’s delivered via your local Council.
Double glazing grants are included within the scope of works – they fall into two categories of measures:
Priority 1: Insulation / Ventilation / Draught-proofing – draught proofing doors and/or windows
Priority 3: Windows – replace single glazed windows
With ECO funding not being available in Northern Ireland there are limited options for double glazing grants in 2023. As a starting point we recommend you check out the following websites:
2023 is shaping up to be an interesting year. We don’t foresee any major changes in focus from the whole house energy efficiency improvements approach emerging in the 2022 grants approach. Therefore we’re not expecting to see any form of direct double glazing grant launched as a stand alone form of funding. Instead, grants will be available based on the improvements that multiple measures can make as a whole.
That said, early days yet but a new Government department along with a supporting Energy Efficiency Taskforce led by a private financial expert could result in a siesmic shift-change … we are watching closely. Read more in our feature: The Changing Face of Double Glazing Grants in 2023.
The industry needs to do as much as it can in getting the benefits of upgrading from inefficient, dated existing double glazing to new, modern units across so that it receives greater recognition as an energy saving upgrade and hence a measure worhy of grant funding.
With such a high focus on improving existiong houses alog with the challenging tragets set by the Government these grants are going to be around for quite a while and, if anything, are likely to substantially increase in order that the volume of improvements are ramped up over the coming years – especially in the able to pay market.